Students from the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) have spoken out about being in possession of a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) qualification that is not recognised by the industry.
The students are complaining that the qualification does not comply with the standards of the specialised artisan and technology sector.
“Our main problem is that all the companies are saying they don’t recognise our diploma, them not recognising it means we still have to go to the private institutions and get level certification, which is something that someone with Grade 10 can just go and do. Basically the diploma does not count for anything,” said a graduate who obtained his diploma in 2017, Inga Nongqawula to IOL News.
Private institutes beat VUT on industry standards compliance, though they specialised in short, level-based certificate courses. An industry player stated that the problem with VUT’s courses was that it was too academic, while the training by private institutions was practical and highly specialised.
“We’re owing NSFAS, yet we can’t repay them because we’re not working nor employable. We’re not employable because our course does not meet industry needs,” added a graduate who obtained her diploma in 2015, Kopano Leinana.
VUT admitted to being alerted by graduates about their employability. They also stated that they invited NDT schools to train its students on NDT level certification.
“We have been previously been made aware by our NDT students, allegations that the NDT industry does not recognise VUT’s diploma, we took it upon ourselves and visited various NDT industries to understand the claim made regarding the VUT NDT programme. All industries we visited denied the allegations,” said VUT’s spokesperson Mike Khuboni.
“The university is touched by the allegations and that is why there are continuous discussions with student forums, overseas NDT schools, NDT industries and VUT’s NDT advisory board members from the industries,” concluded Khuboni.